Offering a brief update on the future of hard drives, Seagate has shared some fresh insights concerning launch of its next generation hard drives featuring its heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. The company's initial commercial HAMR hard drive is set to offer a 32 TB capacity, presumably in the third quarter of 2023, but the new recording technology will enable a relatively quick capacity increase to 40 TB. Meanwhile, high-capacity HAMR HDDs will co-exist with yet-to-be-released 24 TB and 28 TB drives.

The initial 32 TB HAMR-based HDDs from Seagate will rely on the company's 10-platter platform that is akin to that already in use by the company and which has predictable yields and which eliminates one potential point of failure. Given that the company will have to use new media and new write heads with its HAMR hard drives, it is a reasonable move to keep re-using as many proven parts as possible. That 10-platter HAMR platform will be used for 36TB, 40TB, and even higher-capacity HDDs going forward, presumably with as few changes as possible.

"When you go to HAMR, our 32TB is based on 10 disks and 20 heads," said Gianluca Romano, Seagate's chief financial officer, at the Bank of America 2023 Global Technology Conference (via SeekingAlpha). "The following product will be a 36TB and will still be based on 10 disks and 20 heads. So, all the increase is coming through areal density. The following one, 40TB, still the same 10 disks and 20 heads. Also, the 50TB, we said at our earnings release, in our lab, we are already running individual disk at 5TB."

Earlier this year Seagate said that it would 'launch its 30-plus terabyte platform in the June quarter,' so expect these drives to get into hands and racks of hyperscale cloud service providers in the coming months.

Back in April the company said it was shipping HAMR drives inside its Corvault systems for revenue, however, the company refrained from officially disclosing their capacities and only indicated that they were based on the 30 TB+ platform. Meanwhile the company is shipping its HAMR HDDs for qualification to hyperscalers, which will deploy them after they pass their tests.

In anticipation of the full rollout of HAMR drives, some cloud service providers may opt to use Seagate's 24TB HDDs, which rely on its traditional perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology with two dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) read heads. Additionally, some may even go with 28 TB hard drives that use shingled magnetic recording. Meanwhile, Seagate stresses that these HDDs will be its final high-capacity nearline drives that use perpendicular magnetic recording.

"So, we have a 24TB coming out soon, next few months, you will see it," said Romano. "That is the last PMR product. So I would say [higher] capacity point above 24TB PMR, that is probably 28TB SMR."

Source: Seagate

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  • Desierz - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    Personally. I use it to store TV shows, films and anime.
  • bill.rookard - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    As do I. I have about 20+tb of storage, spread out in an 8 drive array made of 3 & 4tb drives. In order to get that size, 3tb drives are in a z1, the other 4tb drives are in a z1, then the two pools are joined. This allows for 20tb of drive storage in a pool in which one drive in each bank can fail, and the data is still protected.

    Larger drives would allow me to put together more space in less bays with more reliability. I could put 4 20tb drives in a 4 drive mirror which would have the same space, and could suffer 3 drive failures with no loss of data. 8 x 20tb drives could set me up in a z3 zfs array and would allow me 100tb of storage with 3 failures and no data loss.
  • goatfajitas - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    I know a few people that run Plex servers and have some sort of service that downloads shows and movies that they keep... Like forever. IDK why but people do it. 4k video adds up.
  • sturmen - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    I do a lot of video production (amateur hobby) but it all adds up so quickly. The 2-week shoot that I'm currently working on totals 1.01TB. So you can imagine that as the years drag on, my archive of past projects grows and grows.

    I store it locally on a Windows PC mainly because that's how I like it, but also because then I am a legitimate user of unlimited desktop backup services like Backblaze/Crashplan.
  • dontlistentome - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    A DVD/BluRay/UHD BluRay library i've been building for 25 years.

    Instant on-demand playback and no silly removal of films or series at random times (and no post modern censoring of old TV shows and films).
  • shabby - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    Linux ISOs...
  • meacupla - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    popup ads on streaming websites are a thing
    slow internet speeds in some regions
  • im.thatoneguy - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    Archiving 4k and 8k uncompressed renders and footage from Red and Arri cameras.
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, June 8, 2023 - link

    While the "online only" aspect is common, many things in life require the space, its cheaper to hold it on a harddrive than pay a monthly fee that would cost more than the hard drive. That being said backing up to a NAS, that backs up to cloud, it still a better option than just backing straight up to the cloud. RAW images, video, lossless music takes up LOTS of space.

    Which brings to natural disasters, even the most advanced internet connected countries have outages be it from natural disaster, man made they happen. Seems more often lately. I mean we had a internet outage for 4 days once because it was to HOT, like i never in a million years thought that was a thing. lol
  • Shironeko - Friday, June 9, 2023 - link

    Gaming my friend, gaming. Games are rapidly getting into the hundreds of GB in required storage, not to mention those of us who work using 3D model art and other media creation. Linus media group has a several petabyte of ssd storage for their videos. (While not ssd these hdd would allow for at least 2 petabyte of storage.) These drives are also perfect for a NAS.

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